I think this is my third time seeing this movie but I’m glad we were able to see it in theaters again. I forgot how interesting and well-shot this film really is. And what I truly love about it are the little details. I think it’s great that animals love him. I love that one of the conflicts in the movie is that Clive Owen doesn’t have shoes and is having a difficult time finding shoes that fit. And I think Clive Owen’s character is so interesting.
The first few times I saw this movie I thought Owen’s character was a complete badass. That he was the type of character that took charge and got stuff done. Seeing it a third time I realize that he really didn’t want to be there at all. He was brought into something and the only reason he sticks around is that he’s a good guy. He risks his life on multiple occasions just to stick with something that he knows some people truly believe in. I guess that still kind of makes him a badass but in a different way than I had originally thought.
I would watch this many more times and I hope I do.
Of the handful or so movies that I consider to be my all-time favorites, Children of Men is almost certainly the most stressful. To be honest, every time I watch it there are parts where I wonder why I like it so much because I’m so stressed out. The majority of the time though, I’m just totally in awe.
One of the things that makes Children of Men so fantastic is how realistic it is. I think it’s probably the most realistic futuristic movie I’ve seen, and it’s for a number of reasons. One, it’s set in 2027, just 21 years after the release date. Because of that, the technology in Children of Men is more nuanced in its progression. Two, the dialogue and relationships between the characters felt very natural. No one ever really did anything that felt way out of character. Three, the way Children of Men is shot makes you feel less like you’re watching a movie, and more like you’re there with the characters. I know the movie is famous for its long, single shots, and for good reason. They’re incredible, not just in the skill that takes, but in the effects it has on the audience. To me this is just proof that great filmmaking and cinematography can put you more in a movie than mediocre 3D can.
Children of Men is also full of great, weird themes. There’s the big, obvious ones, like hope and imprisonment. But I’m talking about these smaller things, like how Theo (Clive Owen) is constantly having issues with his feet. At some point he needs to make an escape barefoot, and from then on his feet are always causing him problems: he can’t find shoes that fit, he soaks them when he gets a chance, he messes them up running. There’s also this reoccurring thing that Theo is really good with animals and that animals love him. There are a lot of pets in Children of Men, which is a subtle touch that really makes sense; if the world was infertile, wouldn’t humans be more attached to pets?
I also love how Theo isn’t this great hero. He’s a good guy, but isn’t super into risking everything he knows for something he’s unsure about. But as the stakes get higher and Theo loses more people he loves, he’s more dedicated to the goal. It just makes you think what you would do in a similar situation, since Clive Owen really has that “everyman” quality down pat here.
Children of Men is great and one of the few movies with this amount of stress that I think is really worth the stress.